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The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

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Open Mindedness in Sports and in Life

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Growing up I was, and am, a huge sports fan. I love watching basketball, baseball, football, hockey and NASCAR. I watch them all the time and know a good amount about each of them. Even though I loved sports, my biggest blind spot was soccer. I couldn’t get into it, I thought it was way too dull (without ever watching a game), and I had no interest in learning about it. 

Despite that, last year’s men’s World Cup completely changed my mind on the sport. Going into the World Cup, I only knew five players in the world. One of those being the American, Christian Pulisic who my dad would not stop talking about. My dad sat me down for the opener against Wales where something just changed in me. 

It could’ve been my love for the country, but I was so invested in what the USA was going to do. The US ended up drawing that game 1-1, yet it was such an exciting game. By their last group stage game against Iran, I had purchased a Weston McKinnie jersey and wore it to school that day. I was so locked in on the sport at this point. Watching the final of France vs. Argentina with Messi in his last World Cup was so magical. Messi was one of those five players I alluded to and knowing how good he was and that it would be his last World Cup made me want him to win it all. Along with the young French star, Kylian Mbappe putting on an amazing performance, left me in awe. The final was one of, if not the best, sporting events I’ve ever watched on TV. 

Months later, my dad had me watch the Premier League, after telling him that I was a fan of soccer and wanted to watch more of it. After a couple of months of watching the premier league as a neutral fan, as well as many hours on FIFA ‘23, I began learning a lot about players and teams until I settled on a favorite team. Manchester United was the squad I decided to follow after watching the young phenom, Marcus Rashford, score in what felt like every game for three months. I hope they will treat me better than the Cowboys and the rest of the Dallas teams. So far they have had a rough start to their 2023-2024 campaign, with an early loss to Tottenham and three key players getting injured. I really might be cursed with the teams I pick to be a fan of, but that’s a topic for another day. Either way, I’ve bought two Manchester United “kits,” as I’ve learned that that’s what they’re called instead of jerseys. I also purchased a US Men’s National Team kit with Pulisic on the back because he’s the best player on the team, and his playstyle is very eye-catching. After his great start with his new club team, AC Milan, I’m contemplating getting that kit too. I’ve really grown to enjoy this sport, even more than some of the ones I’ve watched for years.

All it took was for me to open myself up and not be closed-minded. Realizing this made me take a step back. I thought of the other areas of my life where I’m close-minded, and I looked for places where I could improve that. One of the biggest ones was my eating, or more specifically how picky of an eater I am. I’m the ‘go to a fancy restaurant and ask for chicken nuggets’ type and, as you can imagine, it really annoys my family. My dad has been a manager at a restaurant and been an owner of one at one point, but I never really ate all the food he cooked at home. Recently, I’ve tried to be better about trying things that I would’ve neglected before. Stepping out of my comfort zone showed me that there are so many more possibilities in life that I had previously shut down. That’s something I think we could all do better to a certain extent. Opening your mind to other people, situations, mindsets, and backgrounds. Just because something is different from what you’re used to, doesn’t mean it’s wrong or bad. For me, using that mindset throughout my life put me in a better place mentally. Being able to open up my mind has helped me become happier and much more confident, making everyday life more enjoyable. 

About the Contributor
Cameron Hooper
Cameron Hooper, Staff Writer
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